There was a time when I really thought we were in the beginning stages of a genuine revival. I would read about past revivals, listen to sermons about them, and I even went to another state and heard a very wise old christian tell his first hand account of one which he lived through. And all the signs seemed to be there: excitement and fervor, repentance and reconciliation, people getting converted, the body of Christ coming together to pray and do the work of the kingdom. There was excitement and energy. There was just an overall sense that we were on the verge of something big about to boil over onto the world. But then…it just simmered down to almost nothing. I can’t really say why. There have been speculations, and different people have their theories. In the end, I suppose it was a little of everything. Life isn’t always black and white. All I know is that I was left sad and jaded, and I haven’t read about, listened to a sermon about, or prayed about revival in nearly three years.
I was talking with Anna about this the other night. She listened for a while and then pointed out that part of the problem is that I stopped expecting it. She’s right. I do believe that God will work in our lives and in the lives of the other christians who were involved with us at that time. I do believe that he will bring growth and sanctification. I believe these things because he guarantees them. But he never promised that every christian would see a true revival like the one Bill MacLeod experienced in Canada or the one Duncan Campbell witnessed in the UK, or the First Great Awakening, so it’s more difficult for me to believe God for it or to be expectant of it.
But through Anna’s brief sentence, God began to reason with me. “Do not the prayers of the righteous have great power while they are working? Don’t you have not because you ask not? If you delight yourself in me, will I not give you the desires of your heart? Is this not the desire of your heart?”
I’ve been in fervent prayer since that night, asking God for things that I, for fear of disappointment, have not dared to petition him for in quite some time. I don’t know what it will look like now. It will certainly look different from what I originally imagined, because we are all scattered about. I’m not even in the same hemisphere as the others anymore. But I’m praying for all of us, not just me. I want all of us who communed together then to experience the revival we were expecting, and in order for that to happen, it will have to be on a much greater scale than I hoped for at the beginning. Perhaps this is why God did not grant my request then. He does often forego our plans for something much more glorious, after all. I am once again filled with faith that he will do this.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21